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How-To: Choosing Your Servicing Department?

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  • How-To: Choosing Your Servicing Department?

    Please do not assume that the dealership that sold you your car is the place to bet service it. Some are super skilled, care a great deal and have extensive Corvette servicing experience and capabilities; sadly, some are not like that; some are sorrowfully, poor at servicing Corvettes.

    Please this thread is solely on those factors you have successfully used to choose your excellent servicing dealership or private shop. Issues and problems you have or are currently experiencing, please start a separate thread. Thank you.

    See another friends' Corvette get messed up by a dealership, inspired me to write this thread, and with everyone's collective help, we are creating this "how to."

    And before we talk specifics, it is absolutely recognized that some private shops provide excellent Corvette repair and maintenance services. The following applies to both Chevy dealership and private shops.

    Factors/Criteria To Choose An Excellent Corvette Service Dealer:

    1) Reputation, Reputation, Reputation:

    While it takes due diligence/actual research, to identify an excellent "Corvette servicing dealership," it is well worthwhile. Start with folks you know who have a later Corvette. Ask them, "which dealer does your service work; anything you especially like (or do not like) about them?

    If you do not know someone who owns AND is highly pleased with their dealer's service work, suggest you contact your local Corvette club President, and ask that person that question, and/or, "which service department do the
    majority of your members take their Corvettes to?" Or, ask folks displaying with pride their beautiful Corvette at a local car show.

    2) Experienced Servicing Corvettes:

    While quantity of service work performed does not always equal excellence, the chances of a dealership knowing how to service a car better increase with the number of times they have encountered that problem, i.e., I am happy to take my Chevy Cruze to my local dealer where I bought it from, but take my Corvette to another dealership. Just as we personally do better doing a task when we have done something several times before, learning from our past mistakes, getting quicker and more skilled when have done that job a few times, I do not want to go to a dealership where a Technician is working on his first Corvette, nor even one who has never changed a Corvette's water pump.

    3) Specifying Your Service Technician Available?:

    "If Ken is going to be working next Wednesday, please schedule me in for "x" and "y"; if not, when is he going to be available?" That sentence is not an exaggeration, for there is one Technician that is outstanding at my dealership, and he is the only one who touches my car. That dealership's "Technician apprentice" does not do even an oil and filter job on my Corvette; only Ken! (Again, no exaggeration). My dealership knows that I am happy to pay whatever they put on my bill for Ken doing all, 100% of my car's work. They treat me like gold, and I am happy to pay for that level of service. (Ken will also be doing 100% the PDI on my upcoming ME). Yes, I am very fortunate to have learned about that dealership and that specific Technician (learned about him from other Corvette owners, but not until I "fired" two previous dealerships (my bad for not doing due diligence first, and learning the hard way with both of them).

    4) Do not choose your dealership strictly on location, "closeness", nor convenience!

    Do you go to the restaurant closest to you? Do you go on vacation to the destination nearest to you? If your Corvette means a lot to you, and you do not do well dealing with an after-the-fact problem caused by a dealership's lousy work -- for example swirl marks, oil residue on the door handle, having taken it in twice but the problem still remains, think three times about the "time saved" by choosing your nearest dealership. Before GM significantly reduced dealerships a few years ago, I drove past the Chevy dealership 4 miles away, still drive past the one that is 20 miles away (still selling Corvettes/doing service work), and still drive 38 miles each way to get to "Service Tech Ken."

    5) Go To Where Corvettes Hang Out!

    Have a local Cars-n-Coffee, a local cruise in location, or car show? Go to such places, and ask Corvette folks where they take their Corvettes in for service and why. Great thing to do while you are waiting for your new C7 to arrive.

    Please note, there are still many car servicing things that I and maybe you wish to do for ourselves, and I love that, as well as those of you who choose to go to an "independent shop." Those are two great alternatives. This thread is, however, for those choosing a Chevy dealership to service their Corvettes, or to perform a specific service on their Corvettes.

    6) Search On Our MECF Forum, for others' bragging about a particular dealer, and/or start a thread asking about the "who is the right dealer in my area?"

    Please add below any other criteria you use for choosing the right dealership for your Corvette
    Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.

  • #2
    John, Excellent post!
    To add- I look to see if there is a SAE sign in the service bays and question the mechanics to see their level of mechanical certifications and for what car they are certified. I ask how long they have worked for their dealership. I also go with recommendations. I also read the tech bulletins for my car and have a copy with me. If the mechanics do not follow it then I stop them and take my car elsewhere.
    Unfortunately, in my area the two local dealers are not good so I go to a private mechanic who used to work for the local dealer. He is a certified expert mechanic.


    • #3
      Great addition ideas MReid. Mind if I double back and incorporate them into the OP itself?
      Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.


      • #4
        Great thread. My closest dealer left the radiator cap loose after servicing my C7 Stingray. Unfortunately I found out while stuck in traffic on the interstate when the car overheated. I am thankful no damage resulted.

        I'm looking for a qualified shop for future service, not necessarily a dealer.


        • #5
          Wow, sorry your Tech screwed up so bad. Glad however, your car had no damage. To me the weakness of the Corvette is the hit-n-miss of Chevy dealers’ service. I had one horrid experience on our 3,000 mile 1998, and it just went into the dealership for just an oil-n-filter change. In fact when I pulled in to the Service Bay, the SA said, “nice show car” (I had done some aftermarket customization), and as we walked around it (which I insisted on), he “said, absolutely perfect; I assume you do not want it washed.” I pointed to the 8 1’2” X 11” sign I always bring with me when I go to a dealer, place on the dashboard.

          Sure enough, when I went to pick it up, there was oil on the driver’s door handle, more oil the top of the valve cover, and a light scratch on the top of the rear fascia. I never returned to that dealership, nor a second one just four miles from my house.

          I now drive 38 miles each way to an outstanding dealership with the world’s best Corvette Master Tech! That dealership allows me to make appointment with only “my” Tech — his doing 100% the work of the work, including the initial PDI and every oil change afterwards. And that dealership has another policy the strictly enforce (with loss of job consequences), that’s only the Service Manager and the two Corvette Master Tech are allowed to drive a Corvette even one inch. And guess what, as a consequence, unlike too many other dealerships that have bought brand new, replacement splitter for customer cars by Corvettes driven by “entry level lot personnel,” my dealership has never had to replace a damaged single splitter.

          Again, as our OP says, we need to carefully choose our dealership, and if one is not available, and/or if one chooses, find a private place that will treat your car with respect and competency.
          Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.


          • #6
            Confidence in my dealership to service my Corvette (and my separate dealer for my DD) is what I want and need. I need to trust someone, to have my Tech know enough to find and fix the problem the first time.
            Looking forward to our ME arriving.


            • #7
              Anybody within a hundred or 150 miles of Middletown ct should have their corvette serviced at Jackson Chevrolet.

              the corvette world class tech there is Paul Koerner. He does the bowling green, Carlisle and mid America service seminars..

              the guy is great.

              Ive had him service all my corvettes over the past twenty years,

              guys great as is this dealership.

              paul just received GM s award for being one of GM s top 50 service techs...

              people with a passion to deliver excellence deserve our business.


              • #8
                Here, here for Paul Koerner, outstandingly smart and super skilled Corvette Master Technician. I had a C6 problem and walked in to the every-year, free, “Paul Koerner and Brittany George” help seminar at the BASH. Paul figured out the issue for my car in a matter of perhaps 30 seconds. Went home and his idea was perfect. I am one of the hundreds, no make that thousands, who have greatly benefited from his knowledge!

                There is a reason why the National Corvette Museum and Carlisle and MidAmerica bring them to their events to help us Corvette owners, i.e., Paul is the best!
                Last edited by John; 08-03-2018, 08:31 PM.
                Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.


                • #9
                  Thank you gentleman for your kind words.


                  • #10
                    Welcome to the forum, Paul! I wish Paul was close enough that I could take my Corvettes to him.


                    • #11
                      I know a few owners that the dealers overfilled the dry sump Corvettes on the first oil change--caused a lot of grief for some. I just happen to know a tech that's good here and one I knew in south Florida. I do lots of research before I go to a dealer that I know little about. Even then I worry some. More than one usually handle the car while its at the dealer. Charlie aka cutnout P.S. If I had a lift oil changes would be a breeze.


                      • #12
                        My guy changed the oil and forgot to put the indicator back to 100%
                        Last edited by WWR; 10-08-2018, 11:23 AM.


                        • #13
                          I got an excellent buy on my 2003 Annie as the shock stuffers were left in during pre-delivery as the techs did not read the instructions. At car shows I have met many others that had the same experience. One couple used the "stuffers" as part of their show display. Charlie aka cutnout


                          • #14
                            Returning this thread now to “how to choose your dealership’s service department.”
                            Excited owners of a 2015 Z06. Lifetime, annual contributors, and 20 year members of NCM. Our 2020 ME C8 Corvette is next.


                            • #15
                              Asking around to owners of similar generation Corvettes is often a good way to learn of the right Tecnician to fix yours.
                              Looking forward to our ME arriving.